NGOs failed to report on some $54 million paid into the Feeding Programme – two companies’, auditors reveal, shared almost $16 million and failed to account! – PART 2

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Who are the principles behind IDEA RELIEF and LEND A HAND BAHAMAS that together collected a total of $15,939,234 of our tax dollars that they have failed to account for?

PM Davis Q.C.

NASSAU| Auditors looking deeply into the The National FOOD Distribution Programme are finding more details that reveal a very serious situation in the handling of some $54 million in our tax dollars.

Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis Q.C. revealed this and more in the Parliament Monday morning, as he tabled a copy of the audit report by ATI Company Ltd into the “National Food Distribution Task Force” and the “National Food Distribution Programme”.

The report exposed serious and dangerous failures in the management of the funds, citing that Public Officers did not have oversight of the expenditure of funds and that the expenditure of millions of dollars remains unexplained and undocumented.

A closer inspection of the report revealed that some seven NGOs participated in the National Food Distribution Programme: The Bahamas Feeding Network, The Bahamas Red Cross, Grand Bahama Programme – Cates and CO., Hands for Hunger, IDEA RELIEF, LEND A HAND BAHAMAS and One Eleuthera.

On page 15 of the report, further inspection reveals cold and firm resistance to the handing over of information on funds advanced to two NGOs in particular: IDEA RELIEF, LEND A HAND BAHAMAS.

IDEA RELIEF collected a total of some $4,411,642 or 8% of the funds distributed. LEND A HAND BAHAMAS collected a whopping total of some $11,527,592 or 22% of the funds. Collectively, these two NGOs were awarded 30% of the funds or a total of $15,939,234 of tax dollars.

In ATI’s findings “12 (a) The NGO Lend a Hand did not submit requested data as at the date of this Report”

(b) “The NGO IDEA Relief did not submit timely data (submission March 18, 2022) via email in pdf”

(c) The Task Force did not submit timely data – items remain outstanding as at the date of this Report
Who are the principles behind IDEA RELIEF and LEND A HAND?

The 138 page audit report cited 18 categories of major deficiencies from a widespread lack of record-keeping and widespread inconsistencies relating to the sums of money handled to a complete absence of minutes being kept of meetings, agreements and actions.

Bahamas Press has provided the general public with the full report tabled in Parliament below.